Alexandrian Tradition of Wicca was formed in the 60s by Alex (Alexander) Sanders and his wife Maxine. Alex Sanders was introduced to witchcraft by his grandmother when he was very young, but he first came in contact with Wicca only in his 30s when he met Patricia Crowther, a High Priestess who herself was initiated to Wicca by Gerald Gardner. Patricia and her husband Arnold had a Gardnerian Coven named ?Sheffield Coven?, to which Alex was initiated to First Degree by a High Priestess named Medea.
When Alex began to popularize Wicca he encountered strong opposition from traditional Wiccan witches. They believed he indulges in his own importance and that it is a profanation of sacraments. Nevertheless, Alex and Maxine successfully initiated many people into their Craft, Janet and Stewart Farrar being their most famous initiates. Stewart and Janet Farrar wrote together books about Wicca in a spirit of the Alexandrian tradition, which had enormous influence on a direction that the modern Craft has taken and attracted a lot of people. They were the ones who published the Alexandrian “Book of Shadows”.
Alexandrian covens can be very different from each other, but in general these covens focus on training and education. Alexandrian tradition uses the same tools as Gardnerian tradition and the rituals are alike, but there is an emphasis on the ceremonial magic practices, which derive from Hermetic Qabalah and Enochian magic. A typical Alexandrian coven has a hierarchical structure and usually meets every week or at least on the full moon, new moon and main holidays. Most of the Alexandrian covens allow an uninitiated (neophyte) to attend their meetings. Neophytes are working and studying, preparing themselves for their dedication to first degree.
Alexandrian Wicca went into decline after the 70s, when Sanders retired. In U.S. and Europe number of witch covens has significantly decreased, and those who remained have little or almost nothing in common with the real founder of the tradition. Nevertheless the Alexandrian Wicca is extremely popular in Canada, where it caught on and develops until this day.